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India needs to show sincerity to implement Moscow consensus: China

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China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Thursday with his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Moscow and reached a five-point consensus.

The consensus has mentioned the two troops should disengage as soon as possible, maintain a necessary distance, and speed up the completion of new measures to build mutual trust. Whether in terms of crisis management or maintaining long-term stability at the border area, the consensus has hit the key points.

However, in a comment on the 5-point consensus, China's official Global Times Friday questioned how the consensus should be implemented.

The fundamental problem between China and India is the lack of basic mutual trust, it said, adding: China takes a defensive position, but India is trying to connect the China-India border conflicts with Indo-Pacific geopolitics, which is a gamble.

There are different forces in India, and the Indian government has less control over border policies than China. Nationalist sentiment through India's election mechanism has a strong influence on the Indian government. They have seriously overestimated their strength and support from the US, Japan and Australia. Some even imagine that a new China-India border war will be a joint war between the US, Japan, Australia, India and China.

The country's public opinion war against China is active. The Indian military needs to release such information as "preemptive strike" and "seize the commanding heights" to please the public. This has boosted Indian troops' aggressiveness, the Times argued: "While making diplomatic efforts, we need to be prepared to completely defeat India's illusions through military actions when those efforts fail. To maintain territorial integrity and long-term tranquility of our southwest border, no price is too high. This is not a slogan, but should be our true will. Chinese people love peace, but we will also fight when we have to. This is not just a facade to the outside world, but who we are," the Global Times concluded.

The five-point consensus

Here is the text of the five-point consensus reached between the Chinese and Indian foreign ministers in Moscow Thursday.

1. The two Ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.

2. The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.

3. The two Ministers agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.

4. The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) should also continue its meetings.

5. The Ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence-Building Measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquility in the border areas.

Neither side willing to back down

Political-risk consultancy Eurasia Group predicts a 60% probability of a scenario where the standoff continues with periodic flare-ups and skirmishes, causing limited casualties.

"So far, there have been multiple rounds of talks, meetings between the Special Representatives for the Boundary Question, a meeting of the defense ministers, and a meeting of the foreign ministers, and none of these negotiations have been successful in stemming new skirmishes," Akhil Bery, South Asia analyst at Eurasia Group, was quoted by the Counter Current as saying.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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